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ARABICA - A Daily Shot Of What the Arab World is Saying/Hearing/Sharing
Kristen Gillespie


A R A B I C A
ارابيكا

UPRISING (CONT.)
*As the government of President Bashar Assad offers a public face of reconciliation toward protesters while using an iron fist on the ground, fresh video clips suggest that demonstrations and marches are continuing around the country. Despite the growing risk, one thing Arab regimes will never be able to stop are funerals. As long as protesters die, big public funerals will be held, reinforcing the anger of those marching as caskets are carried on the shoulders of protesters. One such example took place on Tuesday in Hama. The person filming announces the date and the names of the two men who were killed, as their caskets are carried through the streets while protesters call for the regime to fall and Assad to leave the country.

*Here's some choppy footage of a nighttime Damascus protest through the streets of the capital. The man filming states the date and adds, "the people want the regime to fall."

*The Facebook group "Syrian Revolution against Bashar Assad" is billing this Friday as the "Fall of Legitimacy" and features an appropriately gritty, blood-stained logo on its home page. Underneath the bloody fingerprint, the Arabic reads: "Bashar was not my president and his government does not represent me." The group also calls for a general strike across the country this Thursday.

UNCERTAINTY (CONT.)
*As Yemen continues to spiral into a vacuum of violence and possible civil war, with wildly varying rumors about the extent of the president's injuries from a rocket attack on his compound in Sanaa earlier this month, the official news agency reports the following as a top item: "His Excellency Ali Abdullah Saleh, President of the Republic, sent a cable of congratulations to His Excellency Danilo Turk, the president of the Slovenian republic, on the occasion of the brotherly people's celebration of their National Day."

PLIGHT REVEALED
Here is a 17-minute documentary on the sad plight of Jordanian orphans. Illiteracy, sexual abuse, physical and emotional abuse, deaths of children covered up and being raised with no identity are among the issues discussed by now-adult orphans who grew up in the opaque system. "We didn't have a single happy day in our lives," says Kamel, who described a desperate and persistent hunger from being underfed. "Supervisors are not qualified, neither academically nor psychologically," said a girl whose face was covered in black. Thaer, now a young man, describes through tears how one of his close friends begged the supervisors to take him to the hospital, but they refused and he eventually died of thalessemia, a blood disease.


June 22, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Ukraine Is Turning Into A "New Israel" — Where Everyone Is A Soldier

From businessmen to farmers, Ukrainian society has been militarizing for the past six months to defend its sovereignty. In the future it may find itself like Israel, permanently armed to protect its sovereignty.

Ukrainian civilians learn how to shoot and other military skills at a shooting range in Lviv on July 30, 2022.

Guillaume Ptak

KYIV — The war in Ukraine has reached a turning point. Vladimir Putin's army has suffered its worst setback since the beginning of the invasion. The Russian army has experienced a counter-offensive that many experts consider masterful, so it must retreat and cede vast territories to its opponent.

The lightning victory that the head of the Kremlin had dreamed of never took place. The losses are considerable — Ukrainian troops on the battlefield now outnumber the Russians.

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On April 5, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky predicted that at the end of the conflict, Ukraine would become a "big Israel". In an interview with Ukrainian media, he said then, "In all the institutions, supermarkets, cinemas, there will be people with weapons."

The problem of national security will be the country's most important one in the next decade. An "absolutely liberal, and European" society would therefore no longer be on the agenda, according to the Ukrainian president.

Having long since swapped his suit and tie for a jacket or a khaki T-shirt during his public appearances, Zelensky has undeniably become one of the symbols of this growing militarization of Ukrainian society. However, the president claimed that Ukraine would not become an "authoritarian" regime: "An authoritarian state would lose to Russia. Ukrainians know what they are fighting for."

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

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